Friday, January 30, 2009

Ladies Who Lunch


I LOVE the ladies I work with! I am truly blessed to work with such amazing folks. So, to say thank you, I told them not to bring their lunches on Friday. I was going to make lunch for everyone in our office. (There were only 5 of us there that day) Jessi brought the soda and Ali brought the chips. It was awesome! That may seem like everyday stuff to you guys, but we work at a Health Food Co-op, so Coca-Cola is hard to come by!

That morning before work I browned two pounds of hamburger meat and tossed it in my crock pot with 1/2 cup of chopped onion and 4 tbsp. of ketchup and mustard. Stirred it all together, snapped on the lid, and quickly headed on to work. (I'm lucky my crock pot has a carrying case!!) Once at work I plugged it in, layed the sliced cheese on top, and cooked it on low for three hours. The result= Sloppy April's. A mix between cheeseburgers and chilli. You may remember these sandwiches from a past post. I enjoyed mine with an Ener-G Tapioca Dinner Roll. Yum!

I added an extra slice of cheese to mine since it was so tiny. The Ener-G rolls are good, but you have to warm them in microwave for about 30 seconds before enjoying. And eat them quickly because once they cool off they're pretty tough.



Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I love Dips!

 

If you’ve been reading my blog, I think you may have already figured out that I LOVE dips! I love condiments, spreads, and sauces. Tonight I made a side of sweet potato fries for supper and I wanted an alternative to ranch. I have found a ranch that is gluten free and I love it, but it’s not great with supper. The fat and calories are a little to high to have at the end of the day. So I made a super easy, quick, and tasty dip with horseradish you’re gonna love! It would be great on sandwiches instead of mayo too!

 

Horseradish and sweet potato

You’ll need:

One container low fat sour cream

One container 0% fat plain Greek yogurt

3 tbsp. prepared horseradish

1 tbsp. dry minced onion

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Mix it all together! And…you’re done! Yum!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Chicken Pot Pie(less)

I’m back from New York! The trip was great and I’ll have a full recap soon, but while I was gone I really missed…cooking! I ate some very tasty gluten free food in the Big Apple, but I really do love cooking my own food.

Lucky for me, a very nice new reader Ashley emailed me a new gluten free recipe from Rachael Ray! I LOVE Rachael Ray!! I’m sure you guys know that by now! :) Before my Celiac diagnosis I made a Rachael Ray recipe at least once a week and since my diagnosis…I make a Rachael Ray recipe at least once a week! Her recipes are super easy to adjust and always tasty! PLUS the recipe Ashley emailed me is perfect for a cold day! Did I forget to mention that it actually snowed last week in my little coastal town?! It rarely snows here, so it’s always fun when it does. Cold weather always makes me want comfort foods, (The February 2009 issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine is all about comfort food) so it was perfect timing to receive this recipe!

I call it Chicken Pot Pie(less).

recipe adapted from Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine February 2009

chickenpotpie-less main pic

You’ll need:

1 1/2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes (I used Organic Yukon Gold –the best)

3 cloves garlic smashed

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts (You know I love the Smart Chicken)

1 small white onion, finely chopped

1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

2 cups gluten free Free-range chicken broth

1 cup frozen peas, carrots, and corn

1 cup frozen or fresh small broccoli florets

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. Dijon mustard (I used Annie’s- so good!)

Start by peeling the potatoes and slicing into thin chip-like slices. This makes it super easy to mash later. Peel your garlic and smash it. Toss the potatoes and the garlic into a medium saucepan and add enough salted water to cover the top of the potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Once cooked, drain but reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

While the potatoes are cooking, rinse your chicken and then cook in a medium skillet with 3 tbsp. of heated olive oil. You’ll cook the chicken on medium heat until cooked through. (About 4 minutes on each side) It’s cool to cut the chicken to be sure that it’s cooked, because you’re going to shred it later. Once cooked, drain on paper towels and let cool. Save the oil in the frying pan for the next step. Once the chicken is cool, shred the chicken into as big of chunks as you would like in a pot pie.

In the skillet with the oil, cook the chopped onion and thyme on medium-heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any of the browned yummy chicken bits. Add the veggie mixture and broccoli, stir, and continue to cook. You’ll want the heat at about medium to medium high. You don’t want it to boil over but you do want it to bubble away. Cook the veggies for about 5 minutes. In a bowl, stir the cornstarch into the remaining 1/2 cup broth, then stir into the skillet with the veggie mixture. Bring to a boil and cook until thickened. Stir in the Dijon mustard and to the chicken. I let the mixture bubble away for about 5 minutes once I added the chicken to let the flavors meld, but you don’t have to do that. Season with salt and pepper.

In the medium saucepan you cooked the potatoes in, you can mash them with the reserved cooking water. And you’re ready to serve it up! Spoon out the potatoes in a bowl or on a plate and make a well in the center. Then spoon in the veggie chicken mixture. You won’t even miss the pie crust!

The chicken is tender and tasty. The corn gives it a nice buttery taste. Plus it’s actually pretty healthy! I asked my friend how it score with Weight Watchers points and she said it was good!

chicken pot pie-less side profile

Thanks again Ashley for sending me the recipe and THANK YOU Rachael Ray for…being you! :)

This tasty dish was the cherry on top of a great day!! Today I received SUPAH cool, SUPAH awesome business cards from Foodbuzz today!! I LOVE them!! I feel like a professional :) I can’t wait to hand them out when I go to restaurants and I ask if I can take pictures of my food!

business cards far away

Unfortunately I don’t think I let Foodbuzz know in enough time that I bought my domain name BUT it’s cool because you can still get to my website with the ‘blogspot’. Plus, I LOVE THEM, so who cares!!

business cards close up

Pics of New York coming soon!! (I promise!) :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

From Scratch- French Onion Dip

french onion dip main header

 

My friends and I love to get together and have potlucks. It helps ease the pressure off the hosts and you get to try different dishes. PLUS, I have amazing friends who always make their recipes gluten free if possible. Last night we were heading over to my friend Amy’s new house and I was charged with bringing an appetizer.

I love French Onion Dip. I usually just go for Dean’s French Onion Dip, but since I was off work yesterday I thought I would try to make my own. I’m so glad I did! It is so much creamier than store bought premade. The onion is rich with the perfect amount of salt. It was a big hit at the potluck and so simple to make.

You’ll need:

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups chopped yellow onion

3/4 tsp. salt

1 3/4 cups mushroom broth

2 tsp. onion powder

2 tbsp. white vinegar

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt (I used Fage so it would be creamier)

Start by heating your oil and chopping your onion. I ended up using 2 large onions to get to 4 cups. Add the onions to the hot oil and the salt, cook on medium-high heat and stir occasionally until it begins to brown. (10 minutes) Add the broth and scrape up any of the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid simmer until it is almost evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions are deep golden brown, 7 minutes. Stir in onion powder, then stir in vinegar and cook until evaporated, 5 minutes max. Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes.

Combine the sour cream and yogurt in a medium bowl. Add in the onion mixture. Cool dip in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, so the flavors can meld.

french onion dip close up

Make sure you read the ingredients listing on your mushroom broth carefully; broths can often have gluten.

Everyone loved the dip! It serves great with chips and veggies. It would also be AWESOME on a steak sandwich.

Last night was a ton of fun! I played poker for the first time! It was easier than I thought! My best gal Jessi and I were both new to the game, so they made us a cheat sheet of what the different hands can be. We both had beginner’s luck!

Countdown to NYC!! 3 more days!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Grown Up Mac and Cheese


Gluten Free Horseradish Mac and Cheese with Bacon. Oh Yeah!! This was my first time attempting this recipe and it was SO much easier than I thought! The crisp bacon in the creamy sauce is perfect and I love the subtle flavor from the scallions. I've seen other renditions of this recipe and some folks say to serve it with pickles... We didn't eat it with pickles, but I do think that this would pair perfectly with Jill's Mustard Breaded Pork chops.

You'll need:

1 bag gluten free pasta (I used Tinkyada Penne)
8-10 slices bacon
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. gluten free flour (I used Gluten Free Pantry Beth's Gluten Free All Purpose)
2 1/2 cups milk (I used local Organic milk)
2 1/2 cups extra-sharp white cheddar cheese (I used Tillamook)
2 tbsp. prepared Horseradish (I used 3 tbsp.)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 scallions finely chopped scallions

I started the salted boiling water first and started frying up the bacon. Alex manned the bacon station, while I prepped the cheese and Parrish chopped the veggies. Cook the bacon until crisp and then crumble and set aside. Cook the pasta until al dente and then set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in 2 tbsp. of flour and cook for one minute. Then whisk in your milk. I had to turn the heat up a bit, because want the sauce to cook down into a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper. I seasoned with Crazy Salt. Once the sauce is thick, turn your heat off and toss in 2 cups of the shredded cheese. Stir to combine. Then stir in the horseradish and the crumbled bacon. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir well to coat. Pour the saucey noodles into a casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle the parsley and scallions on top and lastly the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Broil the top until bubbly and brown.

Parrish and Alex loved this recipe and so did I! Horseradish is so yummy! I'm having the leftovers today for lunch, I'll let you know if it reheats well!


UPDATE: This is my first recipe that I submitted for The Gluten Free Homemaker's "What's for Dinner Wednesday?". Want to see more? Click here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Boneless BBQ Bites & Big News!!

 

IMG_1333

Yum!! Tonight I LOVE being Gluten Free…because these were SO GOOD!!

You’ll need:

 

1/2 cup of gluten free flour for batter

One cup of gluten free flour for dredging

1/2 cup water for batter

One jar Bone Suckin’ Sauce (hot or mild depending on you)

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast cut into bites

(I used All Natural Smart Chicken – I love it!)

Oil for frying

 

Start with cleaning and cutting your chicken into bites. Then let it marinate in half of the Bone Suckin’ Sauce for at least 2 hours to overnight. When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oil first. In a deep skillet, pour in 2 inches of canola oil. Heat to Medium. To make the batter, combine 1/2 cup of gluten free flour (You know I used Gluten Free Pantry Beth’s All Purpose) and 1/2 cup water. Mix until well combined and then add 1/8 cup Bone Suckin’ sauce. If the batter seems too thick or too thin you can add water or more flour. It should be thick…but not cookie dough! You’ll need one to two cups of gluten free flour for dredging. I like to spread it out on a plate. Once your oil is hot, you’ll start battering. Drip the chicken in the batter and then cover it in the dry flour. You’ll have to pat it in the flour well. Then into the skillet. You’ll have to be patient when frying. Because the chicken is in chunks, you’ll want to cook it slowly so the chicken will cook and the batter won’t burn. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Place onto paper towels to cool.

Once cooked, I drizzled mine with more Bone Suckin’ Sauce. Next time I think I will let them cool, then toss them in a freezer Ziploc bag and throw in some Bone Suckin’ Sauce to coat.

 

IMG_1334

 

Alex and Parrish enjoyed these just as much as I did! I’m thinking of making them for the Super Bowl. The Panthers are out, but I still love football!

The Big News!!

My two best ladies Krista and Alex and myself are going to NEW YORK CITY!!! Besides Seattle, New York City is the biggest Gluten Free Playground!!

We’re going up next Wednesday (the 21st) and staying thru Saturday. Thursday night we’re going to The 3rd Annual Roe on the Rocks Planned Parenthood Benefit featuring REGINA SPEKTOR!!!!

And we’re staying at The Marcel at Gramercy!!!

gramercy

Krista found the hotel! She is the QUEEN of online searching. The hotel was just renovated in November of 2008, so it’ll be FRESH!

I’ve only been to the Big Apple once and I was in high school. We were only there for 3 days and I was terribly sick for two of those. So…those don’t count!

Anyone have their favorite place that I just can’t miss? Better yet, anyone have a favorite Gluten Free place I just can’t miss? After Katie’s trip I have been dying to go to SMAC!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

I did it!!


I bought my domain!

All your bookmarks will still work, and if you enter the .blogspot, it will still re-direct you. I'm so excited! Makes me feel more official!

Big Thanks to my friend Ben! He saved me from my frustration!! I also emailed Jill in a wave of frustration, but thankfully I figured it out...I mean we (Ben and I ) figured it out. Well...Ben figured it out. :)

Now if I can just figure out how to make multiple pages....

Friday, January 9, 2009

Martini Party Take Two!

 

Ok! You ask for it, you get it! Many of my awesome readers have emailed me and asked to see more pics from the New Years Eve Martini party. I shared my favorites in my original 24, 24, 24 post, but here are a few of the other 12!

strawberry balsamic 

Strawberry Balsamic. As I said in the earlier post, this martini didn’t turn out as good as I had hoped, but it looked gorgeous in the glass.

Grapefruit, Cranberry, Pineapple Blueberry, Bloody Mary

It’s all about the rim! And even though the salt and pepper rim on the Bloody Mary Martini was cute, it wasn’t very practical.

martini cheers

Cheers!

 

P.S. This post was my first time trying out the program Windows Live Writer. This program is AHHMAZING!! I am a changed blogger!! :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Easy Filet Au Poivre

Tonight's dinner was AHHMAZING!!!

Before my Celiac diagnosis, Steak Au Poivre was one of my most favorite luxury meals. It wasn't a meal I enjoyed often, but when I was celebrating it was the meal of choice.

Like most gluten free folks, I don't eat out very often. There aren't many gluten free options in my small coastal town and I can guarantee that there aren't any eateries where I could find a gluten free Au Poivre sauce.

Last night Parrish and I were both dreaming about steak. So today I picked up two small pieces of Organic Grass-fed Filet. I also picked up four gorgeous bouquets of baby bokchoy. I started with bok choy since Parrish and I both like our greens super wilted. I sauteed the coarsely chopped bok choy with 3 cloves of minced garlic and about 2 tbsp. of olive oil. I keep the heat on medium and let them cook around 15 minutes. Healthy and light.

The filet is...not healthy. But it's a small portion and worth every minute on the treadmill. Cook the steak in a pan, with about 2-3 tbsp. of butter. I like my steak well, but you could cook to your liking. If you cook your steak rare, then let the drippings cook down a bit before you start the sauce process. I make a quick and simple sauce, but there are plenty of recipes online that are much more complicated.

To make my sauce, add 1/4 a cup red wine to the pan. Take a wooden spoon and scrape up any pan bits. Add in 1/8 cup of sliced shallots (I like mine in rings) to the pan and allow the mixture to boil. Then add 1/2 cup Organic milk and enough gluten free flour to create a gravy consistency. Then sprinkle in pepper.

You're done! It's amazing how happy a meal can leave me, especially when it's a meal that I never thought I would enjoy again!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: 12 Months, 12 Martinis


I am exhausted! Last nights party was a huge success and I feel like I just ran a marathon! My proposal for December's 24, 24, 24 was 12 Months, 12 Martinis, an interactive party with different stations representing each month of the year. At each station the martini of choice would also represent a fruit or vegetable that would be in season for that month.

I'm a big fan of eating seasonally and locally, but as I investigated martini recipes I realized that some of the most delicious martinis contain fruit that would never be "in season" even within 300 miles of my small coastal town. So I just went with seasonal fruits and veggies, and left the local aspect for another challenge. I'm pretty sure a Sweet Potato Martini could be delicious, but I'm not quite that adventurous of a Mixologist.

Creating the menu was alot of fun! When first researching different drink recipes, I found really elaborate mixes but soon realized I would need to simplify. Throwing a New Years party can be stressful, so I wanted to keep it as easy as possible. PLUS, liquor isn't cheap, and my budget was quickly exhausted! The idea of stations sounded great, but I hadn't factored in that I would need 12 Martini Shakers. I managed to borrow a few from friends, but only ended up with 5. But I went into this night knowing I would need to be flexible, and I think that it actually ended up better without the stations. Friends gathered around the bar and enjoyed watching everyone make their drinks; stations would have not allowed everyone to congregate together. I created a simple menu that allowed everyone to make their own, but I did end up making most. What can I say, I love sugaring the rims!


Everyone loved most of the martinis. The hot buttered rum was not a hit, but I'm glad I tried it. Like a Hot Toddy, it sounds better than it is. The Bloody Mary Martini would be better served today at brunch. The Strawberry Balsamic Martini was fun to make, but not as good as it sounds.

Before the party I bought some really simple shot glasses, so that everyone could taste all the different martinis, without having a full glass. However, most guests just enjoyed one or two full martinis and enjoyed sips of different flavors from friends. The best decision I made was to set the party up very early and create each of the martinis before friends arrived. My boyfriend Parrish and my best girl friends Alex and Jessica helped out and we had alot of fun! It was nice to take the pictures and not feel rushed and we all got to sample the results. Our favorites were:


When you make any martini with a sparkling water they always turn out gorgeous! Some friends didn't realize that you don't put the sparkling water in the shaker, you just use it to top off the glass, but lessons were learned when the shakers top shot across the room!


If you've read my blog before, you know that I LOVE Firefly Vodka. It's fairly local to where I live on the coast and it's delicious! If you enjoy sweet tea, this is the drink for you!


With any chocolate martini, it's always fun to decorate your glass with chocolate syrup. It's super simple, inexpensive, and brings out the artists in your friends. Godiva makes some seriously delicious chocolate liquors, but if you're on a tight budget you can just buy a Chocolate Soymilk and use a plain or vanilla vodka.

The mango martini ended up being my favorite. I don't eat mangoes very often, but they're not too sweet and not sour at all. I was lucky enough to find a Mango Martini mixer, but if you just use mango juice you might want to add a smidgen of simple syrup to your shaker.

The beautiful rimming sugars I used were actually by the company India Tree, which I blogged about previously. I love their sugars! Rimming glasses is super simple, you just need sugar and either fresh cherries or strawberries. I used the strawberries I had bought for the Strawberry Balsamic Martini. I used a knife and cut a small slit in the strawberry, and placed it on the rim as if it were going to be a garnish. Then I wiped all along the rim with the fruit to get it sticky. You can use the same piece of fruit a few times before it gets messy. Then you pour some sugar onto a plate and twirl the rim of the glass in the sugar until it's well coated. So fun!

I recommend throwing a martini party at some point in 2009. It doesn't have to be as elaborate as 12 different martinis, just choose three or four and let friends decide. I also recommend setting up Water Martinis at the bar for easy access!

Thank you so much to Foodbuzz for making this event possible and if you want to see how other Foodbuzz bloggers spent their New Years Eve, click here.

I hope everyone had a safe and FUN night and I look forward to a delicious New Year!